Winterton beat promotion rivals to climb into second place

Winterton went second in Norfolk Alliance Division Four, leapfrogging opponents Thetford Town after a strong all-round team performance secured a four-wicket win.

Having travelled through a deluge just before reaching the ground it was no surprise to find water laying on the wicket but Thetford were keen to play the game and a reduced overs match was agreed which started two hours after the scheduled start time.

Fortunately stand-in skipper Danny Snowling won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Thetford to bat. Thetford skipper Conroy and Kerling made a steady start against some accurate bowling from Jonny Allen and Ben Utting, despite the bowlers having trouble retaining their footing, and some tight fielding.

The pair added 38 for the first wicket until in his first over Snowling got the ball to turn past Kerling’s bat to have him stumped for 13 by the ailing Fred Playford. Mark Holsworth replaced Allen and he caused Lockwood (0) to edge behind where Playford took another good catch standing up.

Thetford continued to score at a steady three an over although Holsworth and Snowling were causing problems for the batsmen. Eventually R Conroy aimed an ambitious shot at Snowling and was brilliantly caught one-anded by Allen diving full length on the run at cover. This exemplified the Winterton effort on the day.

Holsworth and Snowling both picked up another wicket each before Allen and Utting returned to the attack. Newey (15) and Lingard (13) briefly boosted the scoring but Utting had both men caught with clever use of the slower ball.

Allen mopped up the tail with some accurate bowling at the death – all three wickets were bowled – although his figures were slightly spoiled by Baulch who ended 25 not out.

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Thetford had reached 134 which in the conditions was not going to be an easy target.

Keith Drewitt was put up the order to open with Josh Austin to play his shots but was unfortunate to be caught and bowled by Anderson for 0. Despite some noise from the Thetford team Clarke and Austin steadied matters and saw off the opening bowlers whilst still keeping the scoring up with the required rate.

Austin was timing the ball well in his usual fashion until he miscued a short ball from the leg-spinner Conroy to be caught at mid-on for 21.

Clarke was continuing to keep one end secure and picking up boundaries at intervals.

Witheridge (16) Allen (16) and Snowling (7) all chipped in with quick runs to keep the momentum going and Winterton on course for victory. At 110 in the 30th over Clarke was caught at mid-off for 44 in trying to hit over the top.

At this point the game could have swung Thetford’s way. However Ben Utting (14 not out) and Ryan Edmonds (10 not out) showed good application and technique to pick off the Thetford bowlers although Edmonds still could not resist unfurling his trademark reverse sweep to hit one boundary.

The pair added 25 runs in the next three and-a-half overs to take Winterton to their target with nine balls and four wickets remaining.